Android Auto Gets Major Revamp
These days infotainment systems have become increasingly popular. So much that some motorists would find it hard to drive without their Android Auto or Carplay powered pals. And we understand why; you have access to maps, music, you can receive and make phone calls, and those are just a few of the important things to be named. The best part, you can do all of this by just talking to Google or Siri. It has changed the way people experience driving.
Google is bringing more to motorists in 2023 with Android Auto than ever before. This is their biggest update in eight years. Android Auto has remained relatively the same over the years since its debut in 2015. Google announced last week at CES 2023 in Las Vegas that the updates would be released in phases. The first phase is already available to all Android Auto users and introduces an updated interface, as well as a few new features.
When you download the update, you immediately notice that your Google Maps has scooted much closer to the driver’s seat, which makes things a lot easier when driving. A split-screen arrangement makes Android Auto suitable for vehicles of various screen sizes. Cars with Google built-in, like the Volvo EX90 and BMW i7 will feature Google’s new HD map; a more detailed version of the default map that includes road barriers, lane markers, signs, and other information useful for assisted and autonomous driving tech. Google built-in will also allow drivers to use Waze in place of Google Maps. We can also look forward to much more automakers releasing cars with Google built-in, and to us, it doesn’t sound like a bad thing.
Google has also added several new interactive options to Android Auto. Quicker access to music and podcasts allows users to select an entertainment option, while a seekable progress bar helps users find where they last left off.
Google Assistant will meanwhile use situational awareness to remind users of their missed calls or prompt ETA sharing while on the road. Google says users with Samsung smartphones will soon enjoy WhatsApp compatibility, although this update will arrive in a later phase.
Android Auto introduces additional digital car key options as well, and we are quite excited about this rollout. You may forget your keys, but you never forget your phone! While Pixel and iPhone users have been able to share their digital car keys for a while now overseas, this capability will soon expand to include Samsung and Xiaomi users. This may take a while to make its way to South Africa, but we’re used to being patient. Digital car key sharing is only available to BMW drivers, but Google says more automakers will incorporate the technology soon.
More features such as “fast pair”, integrating streaming tools into the Android UI such as Spotify, swiping notifications to “a special dock” where it can wait until you can deal with it later whilst you’re not driving, and much more. Have a look at the video above to see what’s waiting for you.
If you want a tech savvy car in 2023, have a look at our digital showroom!